The American Interest

Syria: A Deep State Victory

The latest escalation of the Syrian crisis started with the false-flag poison gas attack in Douma on April 7.  It was followed a week later by the bombing of three alleged chemical-weapons facilities by the United States, Britain, and France.  The operation had two objectives.

The first was the Permanent State interventionists’ intent to reassert control over President Donald Trump’s Syria policy.  On April 4, three days before the Douma “atrocity,” Trump instructed his military commanders to wrap up the American military operation in Syria quickly so that he could bring troops home within a few months.  Even that was a retreat from his previously stated intention to “bring our troops back home” immediately.  “We’ll be coming out of Syria, like, very soon.  Let the other people take care of it now,” he said on March 29.  “We got to get back to our country, where we belong, where we want to be.”

This statement—prudent and inspired by candidate Trump’s “America First” approach—caused consternation inside the Beltway.  Asked for a comment, the Pentagon responded ambiguously that the President

does not intend to telegraph US plans and intentions, and the administration’s policies will not be driven by arbitrary timelines. . . . We will, however, continue to evaluate...

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